Monthly Archives: December 2013

In Memoriam

Each Sunday I try to at least catch the “In Memoriam” segment of ABC’s “This Week.”  I stop what I’m doing and pause to reflect.  During the Iraq war it was not uncommon for the Pentagon to release the names of more than a dozen American soldiers killed.  That brings the reality home.West Wing Imagine the public outrage if each week it was the names of Americans killed in senseless drive-by shootings.  Mercifully in recent years the numbers have dwindled into single digits and it isn’t uncommon for a week to go by where no names are released.

Another at home aspect of war I hadn’t considered was the President accepting personal responsibility for each life.  In the “West Wing” this is portrayed masterfully as Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett made those painful calls.  Did President Bush spend his Mondays calling the families of each soldier killed?  I’d hope so.

I’m skeptical of the salaries and bonuses corporate executives receive.  Could any single person bring that much value to the table?  In comparison, the President’s meager compensation seems justified when this burden comes with the territory.  The Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” can’t touch that.


An ELEMentary Diet

At least once a year a new diet book is introduced to rile me.  The latest is 232 pages from “The Doctors” television show.  I’ve no qualms with these books should they inspire anyone, except that, in this instance,  there are 231 pages too many.  Perhaps I should write my own book and title it “The E.L.E.M.entary Diet (Eat Less, Exercise More),” only it couldn’t, with a clear conscious, be stretched more than a few pages.

caloriesDespite overwhelming evidence that A Calorie is a Calorie, there must be public demand to obfuscate basic math:  add the total number of calories consumed, subtract the total number of calories expended, then if the remainder is less than zero there will be weight loss.  Others derive considerable pleasure and profit fiddling with this fundamental truth.  My favorite fuzzy logic is the Weight Watchers program, which assigns point values rather than use obvious calorie counts printed on food packaging.  This I liken to ignoring the decimal based metric system in favor of  the imperial method, with its arbitrary measurements dating back to the Roman empire.

Perhaps I could devote an entire page to fat, which has a bad rap and is necessary.  Unless gluttonously devouring family sized packages of Doritos it is difficult to exceed the 100% RDA when an overall calorie count is in check.  Similarly a balance of carbohydrates, sugars and other layers in the food pyramid fall in place.  Well, in my book will maybe devote just a paragraph to fat.

Then might elaborate for a page on basal metabolism, that if we just lay in bed all day would still burn well over a thousand calories.  Combine that with daily movement and even exercise and it isn’t difficult making the subtracted end of the equation greater than calories consumed.  Well, perhaps only a short paragraph about metabolism.

The U.S. Constitution and all its amendments, with the Deceleration of Independence thrown in for good measure, is less than 70 pages (pocket size).  We might have done even better to stick with Thomas Paine’s 46 pages of “Common Sense” pamphlet.  We certainly don’t need hundreds of pages detailing new ways to say “eat less and exercise more.”  Well, maybe the book should be reduced to a single, concise blog entry.

Backing Up Is Hard To Do

Another geeky tech post, for anyone experiencing my frustration keeping their music backed up and usable across multiple PCs.


There is a terrific free utility (synchback) that performs a comparison and update across networked drives, only the method Media Player chooses to name and arrange folders  isn’t consistent.  This is in part because there may be several CD versions of a given song (foreign, compilations, bonus tracks, etc).  Then, after synchronizing,  individual library indexes are corrupt (this can be repaired, but is an annoyance).

The solution/remedy was simple. As with the patient who, after complaining “it hurts when I do this,” has his doctor tell him “don’t do that,” only enable the setting when necessary. Even leaving it enabled accidentally creates a major headache. In addition to the new songs  intended to catalog, WMP wants to happily go about rearranging the entire collection. A minor change in the file names or directory structure creates a ripple.

So I write  my experience in case anyone else ends up googling  for an answer or at least a sympathetic ear.  That’s what blogs are for, as far as I’ve determined.  While  relaxing and watching TV will consider whether I’ve ever simply enjoyed music directly from a PC.  Perhaps the real pleasure is the challenge in maintaining organization.

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